This Week in the Russia-Ukraine War (February 3)

A snapshot of recent news from sources around the world on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

France and Australia are partnering to provide Ukraine with 155mm artillery ammunition. French defense contractor Nexter will produce artillery shells that will be filled with powder from Australia. Ukraine has been using around 3,000 artillery rounds per day.

The U.S. is utilizing telephony services to support Ukrainian troops in maintaining and operating many of the new weapon systems that have been provided.

U.S. President Joe Biden said he would not send F-16 fighters to Ukraine, but officials say there have been no serious, high-level discussions about the issue. Deputy national security adviser Jon Finer said the issue of sending fighter jets to Ukraine would be discussed with Kyiv and allies.

Poland has said it is willing to provide Ukraine with F-16s. The Netherlands has also said it would potentially be open to sending F-16s.

The U.S. is preparing a $2 billion aid package for Ukraine that for the first time will provide Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDB). The GLSDB has a range of 94 miles, which is nearly double the range of HIMARS rockets already in use. The U.S. has said it has no plans to provide ATACMS missiles, which have an even longer range of 185 miles.

Ukraine’s defense minister has said Kyiv plans to spend around $540 million on new drones this year. Ukraine has purchased drones from 16 local manufacturers and multiple foreign contractors. A recent order was placed for 105 Vector reconnaissance drones from Germany’s Quantum-Systems.

During a recent meeting, the Israeli government said it was “definitely considering” the delivery of military aid to Kyiv, perhaps including weapons such as the Iron Dome air defense system.  So far, the Israeli government has delivered only non-lethal assistance to the Ukrainian government.

Russian air strikes targeted the Kyivskyi district of Kharkiv.  Ukrainian officials say that a modified S-300 surface-to-air missile (SAM) was used in this attack.

The Ukrainian government is asking its Western allies for more weapons, including long-range missiles.  Russia continues to warn Western nations that the delivery of weapons to Ukraine risks a wider war.

Ukrainian officials said there is no current evidence that Russia has been equipped with Iranian-made ballistic missiles.  At present, Russian forces continue to use Iranian-made attack drones.

Ukrainian forces are using inexpensive unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) to gather information on Russian movements around the city of Bakhmut.  This data is used by Ukrainian artillery to target Russian Army positions.

Russia’s campaign against Ukraine’s cities and infrastructure continued with an attack on February 2.  Missiles slammed into different sites within the city of Kramatorsk.  Among the weapons used in this strike was an Iskander-K ballistic missile.

The Ukrainian government is asking Austria for anti-drone systems, as well as demining equipment and ambulances.  Austria has made no formal offer of these items to Ukraine.

Under a new deal, Sweden could provide launchers to Ukraine for its German-provided IRIS-T system.  In addition, Sweden could deliver more missiles for use by the IRIS-T systems sent to Ukraine.

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